Category Archives: Tech

Garmin Running Watch Stolen from Checked Baggage

Normally when I take my Garmin FR220 running watch (retail $250) on flights, I simply wear it on the plane. On this last trip, I had a last minute change of heart and packed it in my rollerboard, which I normally carry on. But at that time I forgot that I had also planned to check a box of work supplies, so it made sense to check the rollerboard too.

When I arrived in my hotel in Houston on Sunday, the Garmin was not in my rollerboard. I was puzzled at first, because at home I keep the Garmin with my running armband and headlamp, and so I would have packed all three of them at the same time. Yet only the armband and headlamp made it to Houston. At the time I assumed I somehow must have forgotten to pack the Garmin, even though I thought that was implausible. When I returned home late Friday, I searched all the places the Garmin could/would have been. And then I finally realized the unthinkable: the Garmin was stolen from my checked baggage.

There was nothing inside the bag saying it was inspected by TSA, so I’m going to file a claim with United. I’ll update this post with more details after they are available.

New ElliptiGo!

In mid-December, I hurt my foot (plantar fasciitis) and decided it would be best to lay off the running for a while. I’ve heard of runners using the ElliptiGo as a cross training tool, and it just so happened that I was able to pick one up used!

Here’s some information on some tweaks I ended up doing to the ElliptiGo to make it more suited for my needs. In a future post I’ll talk more about how it is working out as an exercise/training tool. Continue reading

Ditched Verizon for Page Plus

My two year contract with Verizon ended last December. Normally I’m skeptical of entering into contracts for cellular service, because I figure they make more money for the provider. But two years ago my wife and I upgraded from the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 5 since the latter was 4G LTE capable. And, if I recall correctly, at the time I could only get 4G LTE service through a contract with Verizon.  Though at least I got the phones at a discount, and the FCC required that Verizon provided the phones unlocked, giving the option to walking away with useful phones after the contract was up. Continue reading

iPhone 5 Woes

With my iPhone 5 going on two years now, I’ve had a couple of hiccups with it. My contract is up in December, so I’ll have to live with this phone until at least then.

The first hiccup was a sleep/wake button that stopped working. Luckily it was covered under a free (button) replacement program. I took it into the Apple Store, got a loaner, and then got my original phone back after about a week. Although I was able to copy everything from iCloud to my loaner phone, the passwords for all my apps didn’t get copied. But when I got my original phone back and re-synced it with iCloud, all the passwords were restored. Strange. Continue reading

Using a Garmin Edge 810 for Navigation

TLDR version, April 1, 2018:

I don’t use my Garmin Edge 810 for navigation very often, so when I do, it seems like I have to re-learn how to do so every time. TLDR version of the steps:

  • Download route as TCX file from Ride with GPS or Strava
  • Connect the Edge 810 to the computer, and copy the TCX file to the /Garmin/New Files/ folder on the device
  • And, most important, go to that route on the Edge 810 and manually turn off Virtual Partner

And now back to the old post….

Although my Garmin Edge 810 is marketed as a bicycle GPS and does a great job recording rides, out of the box it is not the easiest to use as a navigational tool with maps. I don’t need this functionality at home, but when traveling out of town with my bike, I’ve always wanted to find someone else’s ride online, upload it to my Garmin, and then have the Garmin tell me where I need to turn without using a printed route slip. I am traveling this week and was finally successful (or should I say, finally spent the time to figure out what needed to be done) in doing this! Here’s how I did it.

Continue reading

Old Cygolite Expilion 250 versus New Cygolite Expilion 800

Thanks to the new Sunday delivery for Amazon Prime, today I received the Cygolite Expilion 800, which will replace the Cygolite Expilion 250 (here’s my past review) I’ve had for a little over three years. Due to a new job with good flexibility, the light hasn’t gotten any use during the last two years. Now with my schedule changing, I have a need for a light again, and so I figured this was a good time for an upgrade.

The new light is only slightly longer than the old. The back black part is about the same length on both, but the front part with the LED is slightly longer on the new light. The new light is closer to the camera in the photo below, so the size difference is greatly exaggerated. Continue reading

Nighttime Workout Gear

For the last couple of years, I’ve been working from my home office. So I’ve been fortunate to have the flexibility to do my bicycle rides and runs during daylight. But now for the short term future, I’ll be in an office other than my own. That means I’ll need to do some workouts in darkness. Time to dust off the nighttime gear.

The bike is the easy part, since I already have what I need. The Cygolite Expilion 250 headlight that I bought back in 2010 works well, but due to advancements in LED technology in the past few years, it will be updated to the much brighter Cygolite Expilion 800. The Planet Bike Superflash rear LED taillight, along with the old Vistalight backup, remain unchanged. Continue reading

D-Link DIR-605L Cloud Router Review

As I’ve described in previous posts, I previously had issues with intermittent DSL at my mountain cabin. Furthermore, my internet connection there is PPPoE, so I would get a new IP address every time the internet dropped and reconnected. That made it hard to access my webcams and other devices remotely, since the Dynamic DNS couldn’t keep up with the frequent IP address changes.

So I picked up the D-Link DIR-605L “cloud” router pretty inexpensively for $25. My only interest in getting this router was for its “cloud” functionality. Continue reading

Toyota Sienna Outside Door Handle Replacement

My 2000 Toyota Sienna minivan has generally been very trustworthy. But with a vehicle that old, it’s inevitable that the plastic parts start wearing out. The main issue has been outside door handles breaking. Here is my experience with replacing the following:

Rear Hatch

One day at around 140,000 miles, I went to open the rear hatch, and then I heard a SNAP. The plastic where the handle connects to the plastic “appendage” which pulls the cable to open the rear door broke. Continue reading